Obama Won… Now What?
Posted at 11 a.m. on Nov. 7, 2012
As commentators noted throughout the presidential campaign, President Obama ran largely on his accomplishments over the last four years, rather than on a clear vision for a second term. So what should we expect on the policy front?
Ezra Klein says all the “change” of the president’s second term is already baked in: “Obama doesn’t have to do anything to make health reform happen. He doesn’t need 60 votes in the Senate. He doesn’t need 218 votes in the House. It’s already happening. Obama’s reelection is all that was required… The Dodd-Frank financial reforms are law… the new regulations will continue to be hammered out and implemented. Wall Street will simply need to learn to live with them… Obama’s promise is that he won’t sign a law that extends all the tax cuts. And if he holds to that promise, then taxes are going up, either through a negotiated compromise or simply letting current law take effect.”
Dan Drezner thinks you should keep an eye on international issues: “Second-term presidents tend to pay more attention to foreign affairs, particularly as their lame duck status kicks in. Obama will be no different. Once the fiscal cliff issues are addressed, I predict that foreign economic policy will take the lead.”
Kemal Derviş explains why it is still all about the economy: “a more balanced income distribution is not only a social or ethical issue; it is crucial for macroeconomic and, indeed, long-term corporate success. This is vital for many countries, above all the US… Then there is the pressing need – in the US and globally – for education and appropriate skill formation. Without the skills required by new and incipient technologies, too many workers will simply be unemployable.”